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Iran Resolute to Boost Relations with Pakistan

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says Iran and Pakistan should expand cooperation to boost security in the border region in a bid to promote economic development plans in both countries.

“As Iranian borders are safe for Pakistan, efforts should also be made on the other side of the border to boost security in the border region,” Rouhani said.

He added that Tehran is resolute to boost relations with Islamabad in different sectors and to meet its energy needs.

The implementation of the nuclear agreement, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and the lifting of sanctions against Iran have created the opportunity for both Tehran and Islamabad to further expand their cooperation in energy, petrochemical and banking sectors.

Rouhani said Muslim nations should boost their unity to solve problems facing the Muslim world.

He added that Iran’s policy is based on strengthening cordial relations with neighbors and Muslim states.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran attaches importance to the expansion of its relations with Pakistan in all issues of mutual interest,” Rouhani said.

He called on Iran and Pakistan, as two main Muslim countries in the region, to make more efforts to boost unity and security in the Muslim world through bilateral cooperation and interaction in regional and international organizations such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

Iran's President said lack of unity among Muslims is the main reason behind the current problems and crises that face the Islamic world.

Rouhani said unity is the only remedy to problems of which both Shia and Sunni Muslims are suffering.

Rouhani noted that religious schools in Islamic countries should teach students in Islamic unity, because if Muslims want to overcome the existing crises in the Islamic world, they have no choice, but to foster unity among Muslim societies.

He said Islam is the religion of moderation and moral values, adding that the nature of Shia Muslims is not based on confrontation with Sunnis.

The Iranian president also warned that those, who are sowing discord between Shia and Sunni Muslims, have no intention but to completely undermine ruin both of these Islamic denominations.

“Is it possible to see in the world today, when Islam and the Qur’an have so many enemies, that one is creating distance between this and that faith?” Rouhani asked.

Emphasizing that Muslims need to take advantage of the power of Islam and reinforce their unity, the Iranian president added, “We need to boost our Islamic identity.”

Rouhani, however, cautioned that unity will not be attained as long as all denominations of Islam are not respected.

He also stressed the importance of promoting the culture of true Islam, saying, “The Culture of the Qur’an needs to be promoted to confront enemies’ threats.”

The Iranian president went on to note that Muslims should increase their power through pursuing science and knowledge, adding that all men and women scholars need to work together to boost the power of Islam.

“Enemies want the tree of Islam to be fruitless. Muslims need to revive true Islam,” the Iranian president pointed out.

Iran’s President has also welcomed the ceasefire in Syria, expressing hope that peace talks on the conflict in the Arab country could settle the crisis.

Rouhani said the truce and the ongoing peace negotiations would hopefully pave the way for the establishment of a new constitution and holding new elections in Syria.

Elsewhere, President Rouhani commented on the ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia, saying that Tehran favors defusing the current tensions in the two country's relations. Rouhani also hoped that the current differences between Tehran and Riyadh would be resolved soon.

On the issue of the conflict in Syria, the Iranian president said Tehran and Riyadh have always had different stances on this issue, but Iran sticks to its view that the arms supply to the terrorists must be cut and that work must be done to stop the Daesh Takfiri terrorists from selling oil they are in possession of to other countries.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the Islamic Republic will counter the recent US measures against Iran by further boosting its missile capabilities.

“We will respond to recent US measures against Iran’s missile program by further boosting our missile power,” Zarif said.

He added that Tehran has no limitations on developing its missile program “because this program has nothing to do with nuclear weapons.”

In line with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s order, Iran will continue to enhance its missile capabilities, Zarif stressed.

Zarif also said comments by the US presidential candidates regarding the Islamic Republic's missile program should not be taken seriously.

He added that personal views of the person in charge will not change the fact that Washington is legally bound to respect the nuclear agreement, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached between Iran and the six world powers in July 2015.

The US administration should comply with its obligations in practice, Zarif said, stressing that some US presidential candidates, under the influence of the Zionist lobby, are making such comments against Iran which should not be heeded.

*Photo Credit: ISNA, Mehr News

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